How do missiles work? | Targeting, Guidance & Propulsion


All of us has seen war footage and Hollywood war movies
Where a missile bound air strike saves the day. We have also heard of rockets something which seems to be just like a missile but isn’t. Although beyond the scope of
This write-up but still we will make a small mention of rockets.

By definition, A missile is a self-propelled vehicle which uses a guiding system to
Guide it to its location. The basic difference between a missile and a rocket is its guidance system. A rocket has no guidance and relies on pre-fed coordinates to hit its target. Missiles were first developed by German Nazis and were simple devices guided by radio waves. The missile technology has come a far way since then.

Missile diagram

Missiles are generally categorized based on its launch platform.
Missiles can be air to surface,
Surface-to-surface and air-to-air depending on the nature of the application and need. Some missiles can even be launched from underneath a sea where a submarine acts
As the launch platform.

Also, read:

Guidance and Targeting in missiles:

Modern missiles are a complex piece of machinery,
They make use of sophisticated computer algorithms and external guidance technology to reach their targets. Guidance and targeting for modern missile systems go hand in
Hand as both are essentially required to make the hit a success.
Missiles are really expensive pieces of equipment hence the guidance and;
Targeting systems on them has to be flawless and perfect.

A missile might use simply fixed GPS coordinates as sent back by a ground team;
Near the target and responsible for marking the target and;
Then the same is fed into the missiles computers which in turn decides the flight path of the missile.


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The Engineer

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